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Jul 13

NYC – My geeked out evening at the NY Tech Meetup

Last week I attending the July edition of the NYC Tech Meetup which turned out to be 850 people (a full-house) congregating at the NYU’s Skirball Centre to hear from technology start-ups in 5 minute pitches.

nytechmeetupThe start-ups ranged from a travel site to a restaurant social networking app to an online community for women planning their finances – and tonnes in between.

Two things stood out to me from the presentations. The first was that the companies I saw with the most chance to be successful (imho) were the ones doing something to meet a need while at the same time doing it better.

  • Example 1: Comixology allows users to read and buy thousands of comics on their computer or on the go – a great concept and no doubt one that has and will continue to reinvigorate the comic industry. What really impressed me was their Guided View™ Technology which takes a reader through the comic panel by panel making it easier to follow the action or dialogue. You may think comic books don’t need to be easier but with people viewing them on screens both large and small now, the way we read (usually left to right and top to bottom) doesn’t always make sense.
  • Example 2: Who needs another dating site? Nobody. Who needs another dating site that actually does things differently? Apparently New York City does. How About We… takes a different approach to online dating by having users suggest dates instead of using cheesy opening lines or tiny smiley faces. See a date idea that interests you? Let them know and see where things go. Its a pay site but priced well and actually has more women users than men so far.

The second thing that stood out from my evening in tech geek heaven was a question posed to the entire panel of presenters – “how does mobile fit into your development schedule?”. The answers ranged from mobile being the first and/only development option to those that knew they should be focusing on mobile but weren’t yet. With the rate of adoption of mobile web viewing, success of technology start ups depends on embracing mobile web development and providing products and services to this audience.

If you are planning to be in New York the first Tuesday of every month and get excited by geeked-out events, check out the NY Tech Meetup. I’m glad I did.